Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Site-specific Video Projections

These site-specific video projections are mind-boggling. I am sure the live view is dizzying.


To see more amazing work from this company, visit their demo page:
http://thedarkroom.tv/event_index.html

And here is another incredible projection. This one is by Urbanscreen and was presented at The Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Germany.


http://www.urbanscreen.com/

Sunday, April 25, 2010

fightingfortwoworlds

fightingfortwoworlds

She believes there’s
an opening, an
aperture in the
evening shadows
where everything happens.
She says there’s
no word for it
but I know there is
and that word is
tenebre.
Not quite a place,
not quite a thing,
not a time or a state,
it’s none of these, yet all.
It’s the hinge between
day and night,
the safe place
you’ve searched for,
the eye of the storm.
It’s a chance to
catch your breath
and hide from the
screaming, clawing
day and the
novocaine night.
Don’t look at it,
try to look at
the space between
what you know and
what you don’t.
I know it’s there—
I can’t be the only one
who hears the voices
telling me to hurry,
who feels a veiled force
pushing my pen, my brush,
the paint, my mind,
carrying me along
on unseen rapids.
There must be others
who feel this
drive, this swell
from the middle.
You must be out there—
let me hear from you,
you who work this
foundry with me,
you who hear
the instructions to
give shape and form
to these sacred shadows
and follow them as I do.
We are building
a link through our
exquisite twilight, a link
between here and there.
We are learning
to tie knots,
to join planks,
to cut stone. We are
fighting for two worlds,
stretching them toward
the deepest part,
the heart of it all.
And to those of you
who only see your
flat world, resist the
Nightshade, the Belladonna,
and don’t despair;
we are working hard
here in this place
where it’s always bedtime.
Soon, we will all travel
through impossibility
and still remain alive.

©JEF 1998

DREAM 4.23.10: Capsize

I'm walking through an urban area full of art galleries, on a tour with others. We enter a gallery that shows the work of an artist who makes pieces to hang like curtains or go on really large walls (or are somehow embedded into walls). Some are made from natural elements, like leaves, seed pods and dandelion fluff. I walk outside, away from the group and the artist is there. We speak for a moment; he is nice. But something bad happens...I recall seeing a volcano, in an image that looks like it is on television.
Now I am still near the galleries, but the area is flooded and I am with a few others in a boat, or rather a big ship. Only a few tall buildings stick up. The sky is grey and stormy. The ship we are on is listing and eventually tips over on its side. We scramble to get out and into a nearby building. There is a medical unit there, an ER, and people are being brought in. I am an EMT trying to care for some of these people.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BEAUTY: Man--Beards Are In

Beards are in.

Currently listening to...

...a fantastic remix of the heartbreaking "Shoegazer Disco" by Morel, from his most recent release The Death Of The Paperboy. Listen to his monologue...really understand his words...and try not to cry.


I've loved Rich Morel's music for nearly a decade now, ever since I heard his awesome dance track "Funny Car" on a cable music station. His literary music is a thrilling fusion of dance and rock tinged with a bittersweet melancholy and an introspection which strikes my heart just right. His sensibility resonates with me. He is a storyteller, lovingly chronicling the lives, loves and losses of those on the fringe, those who don't fit in, those who are marginalized... and himself. His stories carry an import similar to the writing of Edmund White.

Video by Rich's husband Nick Lopata.

http://www.morelworld.com/

BEAUTY: Alexander McQueen's Last Collection

I have been hesitating to post this because McQueen's death is still upsetting to me for so many reasons. Although a suicide is always something to be mourned, McQueen was only 40 years old--certainly not at his peak. I mourn the loss of a creative soul, someone with a powerful and singular vision, who produced provocative performance art and exquisite beauty. His creations were far more than clothing; they were sculpture.
In a world like this one, we cannot afford to lose such monumental creativity.

This is his last collection. The themes include death, angels, wings and feathers...beautiful, chilling, and eerily fitting. Notice the gilded feather coat with the shawl collar, the skull caps with gilded feather coxcombs, the wings on the back of the second dress, and the angelic caryatids on the heels of the shoes.

From the Alexander McQueen website:

"Alexander McQueen's autumn collection is inspired by Byzantine art, the carvings of Grinling Gibbons, and Old Master paintings and altar pieces including, in particular, works by Jean Fouquet, Sandro Botticelli, Stephan Lochner, Hans Memling, Hugo van der Goes, Jean Hey and Heironymus Bosch.

All patterns were cut on the stand by Lee Alexander McQueen.

Each piece is unique, as was he."







http://www.alexandermcqueen.com/

Freefalling

Everyone's doing it. Why aren't you?



On August 16, 1960, then-Captain Joseph Kittinger made his third and final extreme altitude jump as part of the U.S. Air Force's Excelsior project. An open gondola attached to large helium balloons carried Captain Kittinger to 102,800 feet, or 19.5 miles, where he simply stepped off. His resulting freefall set several records that have yet to be broken: highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest drogue-fall (four minutes--a drogue is a parachute meant to be deployed from a rapidly moving object), and fastest speed by a human being through the atmosphere (614 mph).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Currently listening to...

...Passion Pit's powerfully uplifting and exhilarating "Sleepyhead."

When I hear this song, I swear I experience a classic Maslowian "peak experience." The sound is euphoric, joyous, sparkling. I want to laugh and cry at the same time. I want to raise my arms up and fly. It is the sound of something wonderful, the sound of ecstasy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flying

It's the latest thing. Everyone's doing it. Why aren't you?



My History of Flight

When I was young
I learned to flap my arms
like a blind baby sparrow
or a Da Vinci contraption
and thus raise myself
off the ground.

When I was older
the air changed
to something thick
like syrup
and I moved
as though under water,
giving a push with my feet,
propelling myself forward
with a butterfly stroke...

I never flew higher
than the telephone lines
or two to three stories,
whichever came first,
until I had an uncontrollable
problem with gravity.
I found myself plastered
against the ceiling,
being drawn up --
I struggled to pull myself
out the door and
I soared straight up
as the sun set.
Through the clouds
I saw the lights of the city
sputter and glow.

Now I fly by
will power alone.
No awkward flapping,
no aqua ballet.
I just raise my arms and
will my body
to rise over
roof tops, tree tops...

©JEF 1986

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just finished RE-reading...

THE TAO OF PSYCHOLOGY by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D..

Jean Shinoda Bolen, Jungian analyst, psychiatrist, and internationally known speaker and author wrote this, her first book, in 1979 but nothing in it makes it dated. The topic is ageless. It’s been many years since I first read this book; the information may have been new and thrilling for me long ago, but I can say that now, the information is validating and comforting, supporting my world view. Reading about the Jungian concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious makes me feel refreshed and re-connected to ideas which I still feel strongly in my heart. And Shinoda Bolen’s premise that these ideas based on Jung’s life work can be compared to the idea of the Tao in Eastern religions, to the idea of universality, to the idea that all is connected, strikes a deep chord in me. It feels true and beautiful. As she says in the book’s final chapter, “In considering how all of the many parables, metaphors, spiritual teachings, and psychological insights noted in this book might fit together, I have the following impressionistic, subjective conception. It seems to me that the Christian vision of the Kingdom of God, the Eastern vision of the Tao, Jung’s idea of the Self and synchronicity, the right hemisphere’s intuitive way of perceiving totality and containing opposites, the parapsychological evidence for consciousness separate from brain or body, and the new reality as seen by quantum physics are all part of the same ineffable, invisible, meaning-giving 'something'.”

Recommend? Yes, with the following caveat: to anyone contemplating reading this lovely, slim volume, I would say first make sure you are familiar with the work of Jung and have a basic understanding of the ideas of archetypes and the collective unconscious. THE TAO OF PSYCHOLOGY is like a riff on these ideas…variations on a theme, if you will. One must be familiar with the original for it to really make sense.

http://www.jeanbolen.com/

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tamina Therme

I am dreaming of visting the geothermal baths at the new Tamina Therme, located at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. Created by Zurich-based architecture firm Smolenicky and Partners, the interior was conceived of as a "forest" with a "glade" of gently curved columns acting as trees, surrounding the pool and treatment areas. The clean white result is both organic and otherworldly.

http://www.resortragaz.ch/en/2/tamina-therme

Thursday, April 8, 2010

R.I.P. Malcolm McLaren

We have lost more creativity. The great impresario, stylist, artist, and fearless provocateur Malcolm McLaren died today in Switzerland after a lengthy battle with mesothelioma. He was 64.

He and Vivienne Westwood single-handedly changed the course of world pop culture forever. Read his fascinating biography here.
Despite the fact that he invented the snarling, ferocious musical genre known as "punk rock," and despite the fact that he surrounded himself with the likes of Johnny "Rotten" and Sid "Vicious," for me, Malcolm seemed like a delighted little boy, full of a kind of naiveté, almost giddily happy, and ready to make a fool out of himself at any moment. His musical career is peppered with lyrics and performances from him that could be considered "corny," but which I find totally endearing and mesmerizing for the fact that he appeared fearless and without any self-consciousness; he simply flung himself into whatever it was he dreamt up and I admire that. McLaren was a "conceptual collage artist" who threw cultures, fashion, lifestyles, art, and music together and found joy and artful expression in both the similarities and the differences of all the elements in the mix. A good example is his debut release, Duck Rock which treated all "folk music" as one, whether it was African music from Soweto, square dancing music from the Appalachians, hip-hop music form Brooklyn, or voudoun drumming from Haiti.
Take a moment to honor McLaren with two of his videos. In this first video for "Madame Butterfly (Un Bel Di Vedremo)," his glorious version of the classic aria "Un bel di..." from the opera Madama Butterfly by Puccini, melancholy models languish in a steamy, beautiful hammam. This track is from McLaren's 1984 conceptual release Fans, a collection of interpretations of classic operas.


And this video, "Paris Paris," is from his release Paris, a wistful and deeply passionate love letter to the City of Light. It features the elegantly beautiful Catherine Deneuve and has a distinct North African flavor, to reflect the North African immigrant influence on Parisian culture.

BEAUTY: Clothing--Julius

Julius is a clothing line started in 2001 by Japanese artist and designer Tatsuro Horikawa as an art project. Known for combining art and fashion, the line grew from its original purpose of providing audio and visuals for fashion and art shows into a fashion line itself.

Horikawa's marvelous, leather-wrapped F/W '10-'11 collection seems to be inspired by tooled leather horse bridles, bits, reins and harnesses. The models even have "manes" flowing down over their eyes. And the array of boots (and wader-like boots) is fantastic! I covet the boots in the third and fourth images down.

BEAUTY: Man

Canadian professional photographer Joel Bedford took these self portraits. He should be in front of the camera more.

Currently listening to...

...the arresting, terrifying "We Share Our Mother's Health" by Swedish duo The Knife.

Before Fever Ray (see this prior post), Karin Dreijer Andersson and her brother Olof Andersson made incredible electronic music, like this, under the name The Knife.


We came down from the north
Blue hands and a torch
Red wine and food for free
A possibility
We share our mothers' health
It is what we've been dealt
What's in it for me
Fine, then I'll agree

Trees there will be
Apples, fruits maybe
You know what I fear
The end is always near

Trees there will be
Apples, fruits maybe
You know what I fear
The end is always near

Say you like it
Say you need it
When you don't
Looking better
Shining brighter
Than you do

Say you like it
Say you need it
When you don't
Looking better
Shining brighter
Than you do

Say you like it (Trees there will be)
Say you need it (Apples, fruits maybe)
When you don't (You know what I fear, the end is always near)
Looking better (Trees there will be)
Shining brighter (Apples, fruits maybe)
Than you do (You know what I fear, the end is always near)

Say you like it (We came down from the north)
Say you need it (Blue hands and a torch)
When you don't (Red wine and food for free, a possibility)
Looking better (We share our mothers' health)
Shining brighter (It is what we've been dealt)
Than you do (What's in it for me, fine, then I'll agree)

http://theknife.net/

BEAUTY: Photography--Erwin Olaf

The photography of Erwin Olaf. These images of people totally disconnected from their mid-century surroundings are from his "Grief" series. I love the "film-still" feel and the hyper-reality of the disturbingly clear lighting, like a Kubrick film.


http://www.erwinolaf.com/

BEAUTY: Man

Lionesque.

BEAUTY: Clothing

Alexis Mabille, F/W '10-'11.
Memories of Dandies, French boys' school uniforms, and Little Lord Fauntleroy, with wonderfully textural heather grey jersey suits (jersey for a suit? yes!) and beautiful, 1940s-ish extremely wide-legged trousers (a welcome change from the "skinny" silhouette of the last several years).


http://www.alexismabille.com/index_en.html

Sunday, April 4, 2010

iamamiwhoami: "b"

The identity of iamamiwhoami remains a mystery (see my previous post). But this video, titled "b" (is that the name of the song?) gives us a better look at the singer. It seems obvious that it is Jonna Lee.
Hurry up with that CD release, Jonna. It sounds wonderful, like a glorious cross between Sigur Ros, M83 and Fever Ray!
And the visuals here are marvelous. I love the artifice of the set... all that pine, referencing the blond wood of Nordic design, but without any details to distract; the odd filtered Nordic light; and the non-sequitur of being wrapped in packing tape, being watched by sleepy, silver-y men (aliens from another planet?).

Stille Nacht III: Tales From the Vienna Woods



From the murky subconscious of the brilliant Brothers Quay.

After decades of short films--including the masterpiece "Street of Crocodiles" based on a novel by the Polish artist and author Bruno Schulz--and two feature films under their belts ("Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life" and "The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes"), the Quays are proposing another feature film, this time an adaptation of "Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass," the only other extant Bruno Schulz novel. Let's hope that this project gets funded and filmed. The Quay Brothers possess a unique, singular vision that deserves to be seen.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Currently listening to...

...more Florence + The Machine, "You've Got the Love." I love this song and the Studio 54 reference in the set (but the moon has Florence instead of a coke spoon).


http://florenceandthemachine.net/